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Ever wondered what the difference between lotions and creams or moisturisers is? Read CeraVe's guide to learn whether a lotion is the same as a moisturiser.

How to Differentiate Between Lotion VS Cream?

Moisturising products such as lotions and creams are the key to keeping your skin hydrated and comfortable. However, these types of essential skincare products can actually vary widely when it comes to their ingredients, textures, and the purposes they are designed for. This means that comparing lotion vs cream will likely show that one is a better fit for your skin’s needs than the other.

If you’re unsure of the difference between lotion and cream or could benefit from having the skin type explained, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about face and body moisturisers, lotions and creams. We’ll clear up questions like ‘is lotion the same as moisturiser?’ and give you all the fundamental information you need to find the correct moisturising skincare product for you.

What is the difference between lotion and cream?

It’s important to understand that the lotion and cream difference spans across both formulas and main purposes of each of these types of moisturisers. Let’s break down the difference between body cream and body lotion, as well as moisturiser.


Put simply, ry dry skin, rough skin and skin prone to keratosis pilaris, the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser is an effective exfoliating cleanser. the difference between lotion and moisturiser is that ‘moisturiser’ is an umbrella term – this is also what differentiates it from cream. Both lotion and cream should be thought of as subtypes of moisturiser.


Lotions are a type of moisturiser that sits on the lighter side in terms of weight and texture, which helps them be absorbed quickly and easily by the skin. The key difference between lotion and cream is that lotions are usually formulated with a higher water content than creams. This means that when comparing body cream vs body lotion, the latter is better suited to those with normal or oily skin.


Creams are a type of moisturiser generally thicker in texture than lotions. The main difference between lotion and cream is that creams are usually designed for people with dry or very dry skin on the face or body. Creams can also be a key part of  How to care for dry hands, or to help keep skin hydrated during harsh winter weather.

The benefits of hydrated skin

Despite the many lotion and cream differences, both these products work to help keep skin in a healthy balance of hydration. Why is hydrated skin important? Essentially, learning and practicing foundational to keeping your skin looking and feeling plump, healthy and comfortable.

When the skin becomes dry or dehydrated, uncomfortable and unpleasant signs like tightness, flaking and uneven skin tone often appear. A compromised skin barrier leading to excessive     trans-epidermal water loss – where too much water escapes through the skin’s surface – is a common cause of dry skin. That’s why applying either a lotion or cream daily (after showering or cleansing your face) can help support lasting hydration levels in all skin types, including oily skin. This is especially efficacious if you choose a moisturiser with ingredients that support the skin’s moisture barrier.

Ingredients to look for in creams, lotions and moisturisers

Whether you’re looking for a well-formulated facial moisturiseror choosing between hand and foot creams, it’s important to look out for hydrating and comforting ingredients. While there are differences between lotion VS cream, the ingredients below can help provide skin benefits in both products.


Ceramides are a key component making up the skin’s moisture barrier. The skin’s natural supply of ceramides can decline due to age or other factors, so using lotions or creams enriched with this ingredient can help support the skin moisture barrier.

Hyaluronic acid:

This powerful humectant draws water molecules from the surrounding atmosphere into the skin. Hyaluronic acidis produced by the body, but topping up your skin’s supply via a lotion or cream can help boost hydration levels.


Also called vitamin B3, niacinamide is known for its ability to help support the skin moisture barrier, making it a highly efficacious ingredient to look for in lotions and creams.

Learn about CeraVe’s range of lotions and creams

At CeraVe, we’ve created a wide range of lotions and creams for both face and body use. Discover our range of creams and lotions.


CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for Face:

As an overnight moisturising cream, our CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for Face is formulated with ceramides and peptides for firmer looking, moisturised skin.


CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion:

For those looking for a lighter hydration option, our CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion has a lightweight, non-comedogenic formula that supports the skin moisture barrier on the face and neck.


CeraVe Eye Repair Cream:

Our CeraVe Eye Repair Cream provides targeted hydration for the delicate eye contour area, thanks to a combination of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and three essential ceramides.


CeraVe Moisturising Cream:

For those with very dry skin, our CeraVe Moisturising Cream provides a rich hydrating layer without feeling heavy or greasy. Hyaluronic acid and MVE technology helps maintain moisture levels all day.


CeraVe Moisturising Lotion for Dry Skin:

For those who prefer a lotion texture, our CeraVe Moisturising Lotion for Dry Skinprovides oil-free hydration in a lightweight formula.



Now you know all about the difference between body cream vs body lotion, why not keep learning? Read our next article for a guide on What is Dull Skin and the Causes?



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